cover image When We Left Cuba

When We Left Cuba

Chanel Cleeton. Berkley, $16 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-451-49086-5

Cleeton (Next Year in Havana) will break hearts with this exquisitely wrought tale of a privileged girl exiled from her country and the powerful American politician who changes the course of her life. After Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, Beatriz Perez and her family sought refuge in Palm Beach, Fla., and tried to rebuild. But Beatriz craves revenge: the Cuban leader was responsible for her twin brother’s murder, and she believes that—with the help of a fellow exile, Eduardo Diaz, and her recruitment into the CIA—she can avenge that death. When U.S. Senator Nicholas Randolph Preston III enters her world at a Palm Beach society ball, she loses her heart quickly to the man who will change her life. Cleeton’s twisting, intricate plot of love and revenge takes Beatriz to such locations as Harlem and London (where she faces off with a trained Cuban intelligence officer) and finally to a potentially deadly meeting with Castro in Cuba. Tiny glimpses of the present day are woven throughout the novel, giving readers hints of what became of two idealistic souls. This is a beautiful and utterly transporting novel. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Apr.)